'We need to sell our story'

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Published: 22 February 2019


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IOR president Kevin Glass speaking at the 119th Annual Dinner
​Institute of Refrigeration president Kevin Glass says the industry must project its story to capture the imaginations of young people looking for stimulating and rewarding careers.

Speaking to more than 400 guests at the IOR’s 119th Annual Dinner in London, he said: “A real concern of mine, not just in relation to our own industry but all engineering professions, is the lack of skills we keep hearing about.  It has been an issue for as long as I have been employed in the industry and it is a challenge that we really must rise to.   
"One step, I think, has to be getting engineering onto the famous “When I grow up, I want to be a…” list. We have to increase our appeal because it goes without saying that our potential talent pool for new industry entrants should not be limited to the friends and relatives of those already employed within it. As in most sectors, this is of course a perfectly good and valid starting point. 

"However, we need to project our story and our appeal onto society as a whole, to capture the attention and imaginations of young people looking for stimulating and rewarding careers.''

Fantastic Fridges, the IOR website aimed at introducing the cooling industry to young people from Key Stage 2 onwards, is due to be relaunched in June. Tthere will be a number of suggested experiments and incentives for schools to video their own experiments and submit them for use on the website to illustrate refrigeration science. Companies within the industry have offered a selection of prizes for the best videos, thus offering crucial additional resources for schools.

The new IOR Young Engineers’ Network held a meeting just before the IOR Dinner. This network is being developed to provide a forum for the new recruits and young engineers in the RACHP industry, where they can discuss anything of interest and share thoughts on any challenges they come across. 

Another key focus is engaging our new members, particularly the younger ones. The IOR Membership Committee is finalising an initiative called the Membership Development Pathway to provide a clear route for applicants to progress from their current level of membership to the next. 

Mr Glass expressed his thanks to members and officers who have recently stepped down from positions on IOR committees, often after many years’ service and giving a huge amount of time to further the work of these groups and the board of trustees.  These included immediate past-president Steve Gill, who “continues to champion this industry on an almost daily basis” and Andy Pearson who has recently stepped down as chair of the technical committee: “The IOR – and indeed all of us – owe Andy a debt for his time and commitment in these roles, and his contribution to other IOR committees.” It was announced that the next chair of the IOR Technical Committee would be David Paget, who himself has been a committee member for many years.

Chris Vallis and Graeme Maidment whose terms of office on the IOR Board of Trustees had now concluded were thanked for their contribution over the past years, and Jacinta Caden and Graeme Fox were welcomed to the board.

Funds from the raffle were raised for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospita and education initiatives to be funded by the IOR Presidents’ Fund to promote apprenticeships and industry careers in schools.  A special vote of thanks was given to past-president, Guy Hundy, who has again donated the proceeds from sales of the 2016 edition of his book Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps, to the  IOR President's Fund.